Sparks native Gabby Williams continued her basketball journey as she was selected fourth overall by the Chicago Sky at the WNBA Draft last Thursday.
Williams is the basketball equivalent to a Swiss Army Knife. As a 5’11” guard/forward hybrid, she can score, rebound and pass as good as anyone else in her draft class. She is one of only five Huskies to ever record a triple double. A hound on the defensive end, Williams received both the AAC and WBCA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2017. Williams was a WBCA All-American that year, showing steady growth from her Sixth Player of the Year award two years prior as a freshman. During her time at Connecticut she won two national titles and four AAC regular season and conference tournament titles.
The Sky drafted Williams, along with no. 3 overall pick Diamond Deshields, with hopes of reigniting the success they had during the Elena Delle Donne era where they reached the playoffs in all four of her years on the team.
She was the first out of the UCONN players picked in the draft. Her college teammates, Azura Stevens and Kia Nurse, were selected sixth by the Dallas Wings and tenth by the New York Liberty, respectively. Williams was the first UCONN player selected in the first round since the 2016 WNBA Draft where Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck were taken with each the first three picks.
Williams came to stardom in high school. In her three years as a starter at Reed, Williams and her team enjoyed much success, never losing more than four games. Her sophomore year in 2012, they won the Nevada state championship. She also garnered the Nevada Player of the Year award in that year. Williams tore her ACL in January of her junior year ending her in drastic fashion and any hopes of Reed repeating as state champions. She returned to play in her senior season where she would average almost 20 points per game along with eight rebound and five assists.
Williams also prospered off the hardwood as she was a standout track and field athlete. So good that she was an alternate during the 2012 London Olympics for the high jump.
Williams and her fans hope the name she made for herself through her legendary career in high school and college will persist in the professional ranks.